2011 MLB Preview

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2011 MLB Preview
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

American League

East

Boston Red Sox (96-66) - Good team that got better; great pitching depth should make them top team in the AL.

New York Yankees (93-69)* - Certainly good and experienced enough to win now; need another starter or two.

Tampa Bay Rays (86-76) -  Lost far too many key pieces to be a factor once again in such a tough division.

Toronto Blue Jays (77-85) - Surprised with power and pitching last year; should be yet another rebuilding year.

Baltimore Orioles (74-88) - Added players to make lineup respectable; bad pitching holds them back again.

 

Central 

Detroit Tigers (91-71) - Most talented team in this division as long as young pitching and back of rotation performs.

Minnesota Twins (88-74) - Major injuries and declining star production will once again take a toll on this team.

Chicago White Sox (87-75) - Perennial underperformer and will be once again; dangerous if they get good pitching.

Cleveland Indians (72-90) - Four years removed from ALCS, this team has fallen further than any in that span.

Kansas City Royals (68-94) - Last-place team that traded away its best player; expect another miserable year.

 

West

Texas Rangers (92-70) - Defending AL champs lose ace Lee, but will be able to coast with great bats in lousy division.

Los Angeles Angels (85-77) - Good enough talent to compete; nowhere near as good as they were at their best.

Oakland Athletics (79-83) - Made small additions to what was an average team; still a few years away from success.

Seattle Mariners (72-90) - Headed in the right direction with big-time prospects; won't be a factor in 2011.

 

MVP 

1) Miguel Cabrera, 1B - Detroit

2) Robinson Cano, 2B - New York

3) Josh Hamilton, OF - Texas

4) Kevin Youkilis, 3B - Boston

5) Nelson Cruz, OF - Texas

6) Evan Longoria, 3B - Tampa Bay

7) Adrian Gonzalez, 1B - Boston

8) Alex Rodriguez, 3B - New York

9) Carl Crawford, OF - Boston

10) Joe Mauer, C - Minnesota

 

Cy Young

1) Felix Hernandez, SP - Seattle

2) CC Sabathia, SP - New York

3) David Price, SP - Tampa Bay

4) Clay Buchholz, SP - Boston

5) Justin Verlander, SP - Detroit

6) Jon Lester, SP - Boston

7) Dan Haren, SP - Los Angeles

8) Mariano Rivera, CL - New York

9) Jered Weaver, SP - Los Angeles

10) Jake Peavy, SP - Chicago

 

National League

East 

Philadelphia Phillies (98-64) - Best starting rotation the game has seen in years; prohibitive World Series favorite.

Florida Marlins (86-76) - Good young starters complemented by solid bats; should stay in running for Wild Card.

Atlanta Braves (84-78) - Pretty solid team all-around; transition year with new manager and unproven bullpen.

New York Mets (79-83) - Will try to make one more run with core players; far too much uncertainty to contend.

Washington Nationals (73-89) - Moving in the right direction talent-wise; potential to be an elite in a few years.

 

Central

Cincinnati Reds (91-71) - Breakout team of 2010 certainly has enough offense and pitching to win division again.

St. Louis Cardinals (90-72)* - Loss of Wainwright turns them from an elite to merely another good Cardinal team.

Chicago Cubs (86-76) - Another case of big paychecks coming up small; potential of breakthrough with new manager.

Milwaukee Brewers (85-77) - Top of the rotation is among the best in baseball; aren't really scary anywhere else.

Houston Astros (73-89) - A perennially consistent franchise has faded into anonymity; who's on this team again?

Pittsburgh Pirates (64-98) - The low of lows; have been consistently bad with the arrow pointing down, not up.

 

West 

Colorado Rockies (94-68) - Tremendous amount of young talent; potential of being an elite team for seasons to come.

San Francisco Giants (88-74) - Defending World Series champs have makings of good rotation with bigger makings of a hangover.

Los Angeles Dodgers (84-78) - Have faded over two seasons and could be headed for disaster with new manager.

San Diego Padres (75-87) - 2010 overachiever loses best player; regression and fade into irrelevance is a certainty.

Arizona Diamondbacks (74-88) - One-time perennial playoff threat has become one of league's cellar dwellers.

 

MVP 

1) Troy Tulowitzki, SS - Colorado

2) Albert Pujols, 1B - St. Louis

3) Joey Votto, 1B - Cincinnati

4) Carlos Gonzalez, OF - Colorado

5) Hanley Ramirez, SS - Florida

6) Ryan Braun, OF - Milwaukee

7) Jason Heyward, OF - Atlanta

8) Buster Posey, C - San Francisco

9) Jayson Werth, OF - Washington

10) Ryan Howard, 1B - Philadelphia

 

Cy Young

1) Cliff Lee, SP - Philadelphia

2) Roy Halladay, SP - Philadelphia

3) Ubaldo Jimenez, SP - Colorado

4) Tim Lincecum, SP - San Francisco

5) Josh Johnson, SP - Florida

6) Clayton Kershaw, SP - Los Angeles

7) Matt Cain, SP - San Francisco

8) Zack Greinke, SP - Milwaukee

9) Brian Wilson, CL - San Francisco

10) Mat Latos, SP - San Diego

 

Postseason Predictions

League Division Series

Boston over Detroit in 4

Texas over New York in 5

 

Philadelphia over St. Louis in 4

Colorado over Cincinnati in 5

 

League Championship Series 

Boston over Texas in 5

Philadelphia over Colorado in 6

 

World Series

Philadelphia Phillies over Boston Red Sox in 6

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